What is sheltered Housing?

What is Sheltered Housing?

What is Sheltered Housing? 

Sometimes it's good to know you have support: sheltered accommodation explained.

With so many accommodation options available for retirees, it can be difficult to decide which is best for you. So, if you find yourself thinking “what is sheltered housing?” or “what is retirement housing?” then there’s no need to worry as these are some of the most common questions we get asked about here at McCarthy & Stone. 

Here, we explain all there is to know about this subject and how sheltered accommodation can be both similar and different to the retirement property products  we provide.   

What is Sheltered Accommodation? 

No matter what stage of our lives we're in, we all value our independence. With sheltered housing, you usually get a self-contained property, as well as just the right amount of extra help to let you live comfortably and keep doing the things you love. This way, you maintain your independence and you also get the help and support you need in your retirement.

In sheltered accommodation, you often have the opportunity to buy or rent the property you’re living in and you have access to communal facilities. A scheme manager (who either lives on or off-site) also gives advice to residents, ensures communal areas are clean and arranges maintenance and repairs. If you need urgent help, there’s usually a 24-hour emergency call system.

Why do People Choose Sheltered Accommodation?

As alluded to above, there are a number of reasons why retirees and the over 55s prefer sheltered accommodation. To summarise, these typically are:

  • It can allow residents to live independently but have support if needed.
  • There’s added reassurance from emergency call systems.
  • Shared living spaces can allow residents to make friends.
  • There’s no need to repair, maintain or have to upkeep the property residents live in.
  • There are options for partners/spouses to live together.
  • Sheltered housing can come with added security systems and staffing.

What is Retirement Housing?

Retirement housing is similar to sheltered accommodation. To live in retirement housing, residents must meet an age criteria, which is usually 55. A form of specialist housing for older people, retirement housing allows residents to live independently, but assures they have support close by. Usually a broad-reaching term, retirement housing includes a number of housing options, including sheltered housing and our retirement communities. 

How Does McCarthy & Stone Differ from Sheltered Accommodation?

Here at McCarthy & Stone, our retirement communities offer you a choice of facilities to suit your needs. Whether you’re an active over 55 looking for a luxurious home, an over 60 looking for privacy and independence with shared social facilities or someone over 70 who needs extra support, we have a development to suit you.  

We offer three main types of retirement community: Lifestyle Living, Retirement Living and Retirement Living PLUS. These retirement communities are similar to sheltered housing complexes, and each one is designed to make your life easier. We'll take care of the tiresome chores like keeping the garden tidy and cleaning the windows, and there'll be a friendly face nearby if you ever need some extra help.

Unlike sheltered housing, our retirement communities are tailored to your needs, so you can get as much (or as little) help and support as you require, with a choice of facilities to suit you. This flexibility is one of the key benefits to choosing McCarthy & Stone over a typical sheltered accommodation option. 

Lifestyle Living: Stylish, Age-exclusive Living Solutions

If you’re aged 55 or over, our Lifestyle Living properties provide stylish homes in desirable locations. Each home is cleverly designed to increase your living space and make the most of the natural light. 

Plus, you’ll enjoy total privacy and reassurance that your home is safe and secure thanks to additional security measures. The properties also include lots of well thought-out features you’ll really appreciate, like private outdoor spaces or balconies, modern, luxurious bathrooms, and kitchens with high-quality units and appliances.

All of this is included in a building that you don't need to worry about. We'll take care of the maintenance, cleaning and redecoration of the shared areas, and there's a contingency fund set up so you'll never have to face unexpected costs.

If you think a Lifestyle Living property is perfect for you, start your search today. 

Retirement Living: All the Independence, None of the Worry

If you want the freedom of being a homeowner, but you'd also like your day-to-day living made a little easier, a Retirement Living  apartment can give you:

  • A dedicated House Manager in every development, to organise events, offer support and keep everything running smoothly.
  • A property that's been designed with you in mind: fittings and appliances at convenient heights, walk-in wardrobes, a secure door entry system and a 24-hour emergency call system.
  • A guest suite for your visiting friends and family.


If you think a Retirement Living apartment sounds like the right way to start your next adventure, have a look at some of our high-quality retirement properties for sale across the UK.

Retirement Living PLUS: Reassurance and Peace of Mind

Everyone needs a little bit of help from time to time. But that doesn't mean you have to give up your independent lifestyle. A Retirement Living PLUS apartment comes with all the benefits of a Retirement Living apartment, but it can also give you:   

  • An Estate Management Team that's on-site 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in case you need any help or support.
  • One hour of help around the house each week as standard, which means you'll have more time for the things you really enjoy.
  • A flexible level of personal care. If your needs change over time, then so does your support – you only pay for what you need, when you need it.
  • A table service restaurant that's open every day. If you don't always feel like cooking lunch, you won't have to, and it's perfect for when friends and family come to visit.
If it sounds like a Retirement Living PLUS apartment could be the right choice for you, start your search for a brand-new retirement property today.

Get in Touch to Find Out More

Lastly, whether you’re still wondering ‘what is sheltered housing?’ or you would like more information on the types of accommodation we provide, you can contact us here